The purpose of the Society is to prevent cruelty to animals, to promote the relief of suffering among animals, and to provide information on humane animal care. The mission of the Society is to provide a facility where the public can bring unwanted and abandoned animals; relieve suffering among animals and provide food, shelter, medical care and love to homeless dogs and cats while they await permanent homes; help control the number of unwanted animals by offering low-cost spay/neuter services; and educate the public about responsible animal ownership and care.
Please see the summary of our history below. The Watauga Humane Society has a much-attended Dog Park behind the new shelter are areas our volunteers walk the dogs. The Society is now housed in a state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive, "green" structure, in harmony with a significant piece of property. The shelter site borders the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you have not visited the new shelter, please come by during these hours: Tues-Fri 12:30 - 6pm or Sat-Sun 12:30 - 5pm. The shelter is closed on Mondays.
The Watauga Humane Society maintains an exceptional shelter, and the care, health, and love offered to our animals is beyond comparison.
History of the
Watauga Humane Society was incorporated in December of 1969. We are a not-for-profit charitable organization and dedicated to all aspects of animal welfare. The Watauga Humane Society animal shelter is located at 312 Paws Way, in Boone, NC
In October 1969, ten farsighted members of the Boone community signed the articles of incorporation of the Humane Society of Watauga County. Businessman and retired Colonel Clyde Miller of Miller Industries was the instigator. Another of these people was Rachel Coffey, editor and owner of the Watauga Democrat, the local newspaper. Northwestern Bank vice-president Velma Burnley, also the mayor of Boone, was one of these signers. The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the organization.
The goal was to push for animal control in a rural Appalachian county where the average annual income lags behind more urban parts of North Carolina. In this high elevation corner of the state, lost or abused animals are subject to the most severe weather in the South. The need was so great that the newspaper's support led to animals being turned in to Rachel Coffey.
Dr. John Martin, a local veterinarian, went to the Town of Boone asking for help. Soon, two small kennels were erected at the Casey Lane location, adjacent to the town's sewer plant and the Town of Boone agreed to let the Society rent this land for $1 per year. It also permitted the town employee at the plant to take in and adopt out animals. At first, pets were given away. But realizing that people put little value on free animals, an adoption fee of $5 was instituted.
Members Pat and Mike Cade moved to Boone from Louisiana and brought new ideas and experiences to the Society. Soon memberships were sought, obedience classes were held, and twice a year rabies clinics were offered. The rabies clinics were held at county schools and not only provided a valuable service to the community, but raised much-needed money for the Society. Pat Cade was way ahead of the time in her knowledge and dedication to the notion of spaying and neutering animals. The Society launched an annual spay and neuter campaign with local vets reducing their fees and the Society contributing to the cost.
In 1989, a push was made to raise funds to construct a new shelter on the present location. It was unsuccessful. In 1997, the Society was "challenged" by the Turchin family to raise an amount equal to the funds they offered to donate. The campaign was extremely successful with the Society raising $90,000 but flood plain law changes prevented us from updating or adding to the current location.
Through the years, the Society diligently continued to search for suitable property. We advertised for land, contacted all of the Realtors in the area, even wrote to every landowner in Watauga County ~ with no success. In May of 2003, the perfect piece of land in the perfect location was found by one of our members. Thirteen acres were purchased. The property already includes a small house that is the home for our thrift shop, the Bare Bones Boutique.
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